Snow on Epiphany Morning in a Soviet Era Sofia Apartment

Letters to the Editor | February 6, 2017, Monday // 14:30
Bulgaria: Snow on Epiphany Morning in a Soviet Era Sofia Apartment A billboard that appeared near the Bulgarian Black Sea resort of Nessebar in September 2011, apparently to mark Zhivkov's centenary. File photo

We are publishing a poem submitted by Arthur Martinson which, he says, has been inspired by "the distressing news from America, Romania (fraud), and Bulgaria (ceiling collapse, indictment charge of government minister), and Ukraine.

"I dreamed that I owned a coffee kiosk named Cafe Blaga, after Blaga Dimitrova, in Sofia, Bulgaria, and was about to open it for the day's business. I lived alone in a sparse, clean, modern IKEA filled studio," Mr Martinson says. For the sake of clarity, he adds "Todor", mentioned throughout the text, is Todor Zhivkov, Bulgaria's one-time Communist ruler.

Snow on epiphany morning in a soviet era Sofia apartment

A stark and white empty kitchen,
shattered only by a red French press
and a whistling green tea pot;

a stark and white empty nook,
peopled with one chair, one table,
one cup, and one spoon;

a stark and white linoleum floor,
congressed by a singular, shuffling form
summoned by the dark promise of steam:

his hand lifts the tea pot and drowns
the once proud and labored beans,
so as to steep in watery homicide.

Europe's curtain no longer hangs,
the eastern pact no longer stands,
and Todor's ghost must contend with IKEA.

A stark and white empty street,
framed by the naked window
is the canvas of his breakfast.

Arthur ("Marti") Martinson writes from Texas in the USA. He is a House Museum Docent but also spent 6 years in the Navy and 24 years in Washington, DC, as a Software Librarian and Configuration Management Specialist. This is his eleventh published poem.

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